§ Mr. Meadowcroft
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) which National Health Service hospitals offer infertility treatment;
(2) which National Health Service hospitals offer in vitro fertilisation;
(3) if he will list the establishments where Government funded research into infertility and its causes is carried out.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
We do not collect information routinely about NHS infertility services. There are many infertility treatment techniques available and it is usual for gynaecology departments to offer some of them.
In a new and specialist field of medicine such as in vitro fertilisation a distinction cannot realistically be drawn between research and treatment.
The following hospitals have confirmed that they have in vitro fertilisation programmes:
- The Hammersmith hospital, London
- Chelsea hospital for women, London
- Royal Free hospital, London
- St. Bartholomew's hospital, London
- King's college hospital, London
- St. Mary's central, Manchester
- Southmead hospital, Bristol
- Bristol royal infirmary
- Birmingham maternity hospital
- Jessop hospital for women, Sheffield
The main Government funded body supporting research in this field is the Medical Research Council from its grant-in-aid under the science budget of the Department of Education and Science.
I understand from the council that the MRC is supporting major programmes of research at the reproductive biology unit, Edinburgh and at the department of anatomy and obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Cambridge.
The MRC also supports research relevant to infertility and its causes at the experimental embryology and teratology unit, Carshalton, at the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at Glasgow university and at the institute of obstetrics and gynaecology in London.
In addition the MRC supports research at a number of other centres which could prove relevant to our understanding of this problem.